Making a late payment on your credit card will negatively affect your credit score and can incur fees from your credit card provider. For first time credit card holders, remembering to pay your credit card can be difficult as this might be your first recurring bill. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to remove a late payment from your credit history.
What Happens If Your Payment Is Late
Late Payment Fee
Depending on your credit card provider’s terms and conditions, you will be issued a late payment fee if you forget to make a minimum balance payment when it is due. A late payment fee costs between $25 and $35, and can make your balance harder to pay off. Some credit cards like SelfScore will waive your first late fee.
When you consistently miss your monthly minimum balance payment, your credit card provider can raise your interest rate for your credit card. This means that you will be paying more every month for your credit card balance. If your credit card has an introductory APR of 0%, you will lose this benefit by missing your payment due date and your APR will return to the default rate.
Your Credit Score Will Be Affected
Missing a monthly minimum balance payment will also affect you in the long run. Your credit score will be affected depending on the number of days you forget to make a minimum balance payment. In general, the longer your payment is delayed, the more damage is done to your credit score. Your credit score is calculated using several factors, but your payment history is one of the most important factors taken into consideration. A negative credit score will make it harder and more expensive to borrow money in the future.
How Do I Remove a Late Payment
A small mistake like forgetting to make at least your minimum balance payment one month can stick around on your credit report for years. There are easy ways that you can remember to pay your credit card on time such as using automatic payment, but in the meantime, there are a few actionable steps that you can take to remove your late payment.
Make Sure Your Late Payment is Accurate
You first want to make sure that you did, in fact, make your minimum balance payment late. Mistakes by the credit card provider seldom happen, though sometimes they do. If your payment was on time and not late, you can dispute your late payment penalty and request to remove it.
Even if your minimum balance payment is just a day late, your credit card provider will notice it. If your payment history was on-time and this was your first late payment, you can request a goodwill adjustment. A goodwill adjustment means that you will write a formal letter to your credit card provider explaining why you are a good credit card user, why you made a late payment and requesting to adjust your credit report. In many cases, your effort will be rewarded with your late payment being removed and will not affect your credit score.
Another approach you can take to remove a late payment is to sign up for automatic payment. You can then negotiate with your credit card provider to remove the late payment. The idea is that you will be formally committing to paying on-time in the future, and your credit card provider will reward you for your commitment. Learn more about how to set up automatic payments.
Late payments are often an honest mistake for good credit card users. We wish you the best of luck on having your late payment removed and hope that you have become a smarter credit card user.
In the next lesson, learn How to Build A Good Credit Score.